Postal Carrier Told He Can No Longer Wear Santa Suit On The Job

For more than a decade, a postal carrier in Bellevue, WA, has spread Christmas cheer along his mail route by donning a Santa Claus costume over his uniform for a few days leading up to Dec. 25. But after someone complained to the USPS about his Kris Kringle getup, the Santa costume will have to remain in his closet this year.

“The government is shutting me down because it’s a non-postal regulation uniform,” the 4-year USPS employee tells the Bellevue Reporter.

The carrier says he got the notion of dressing up like Santa several years ago after someone mentioned the resemblance. Since then, he’s apparently become a bit of a local celebrity, someone that Bellevue residents could rely on to play Santa when Christmas rolled around.

He even goes the extra step of dying his blonde hair white and making sure he has enough time to grow out the beard to the proper length in time for the holidays.regularly as both Santa and mailman. The residents know him well, and are always excited when Santa knows their name, he said.

But shortly after this past Thanksgiving, his supervisor let him know that a complaint had been filed about the whole Santa thing.

“This was the first time; I don’t know what happened,” he tells the Reporter. “I don’t step on anyone’s toes. Being Santa isn’t religious to me; it’s secular. It’s about giving.”

A rep for the USPS confirmed to the paper that the complaint actually came from one of his fellow carriers, and not someone on his route.

Because this is exactly the kind of thing that the Postal Service, with a debt the size of a small island nation, really needs to focus on right now.

A year without a Santa Claus | USPS carrier not allowed to deliver while wearing Santa suit [Bellevue Reporter]

Thanks to Bob for the tip!

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. fatediesel says:

    He’s a 40-year employee, not 4-year. It would have been tough for him to wear the Santa suit for a decade if he’d only worked there for 4 years.

    • temporaryerror says:

      He’s been an employee of the USPS for 4 years. That’s how I read it, though I didn’t read the source article.

      • fatediesel says:

        The very first line says he’s been wearing the suit on his mail route for a decade, so he couldn’t have been working at the USPS for only 4 years, and the source material states he’s been working for the USPS since 1971.

        • Ed says:

          He has only been with the USPS 4 years. The other years he was impersonating a mailman so he wouldn’t look so silly wearing a santa outfit to everyone’s houses.

    • chefboyardee says:

      I disagree. He’s a 40 year old, 4-year employee.

      Nowhere does the original sentence imply that the 4 refers to his age.

    • TheBusDriver says:

      “For more than a decade” he has worn the suit, hence must be more than 4 year employee

  2. JeremieNX says:

    Someone obviously had an axe to grind with this employee.

    • SalesGeek says:

      …or someone didn’t get that Xbox they wanted last Christmas.

    • Southern says:

      No, more likely it’s just some anti-religious “person” who hates everything related to Christmas. You know, those folks who sue schools because they start out each morning saying the Pledge of Allegiance, or those that file lawsuits over school graduations because they want to include a prayer in it.

      What that Postmaster should have done was to grow a set of balls and told the complainer “tough shit”.

      • justhypatia says:

        Uh, just as likely to be some super religious nut-job who hates Santa because he’s a representation of the crass commercialization of the Jesus season.

      • The Lone Gunman says:

        ..or someone who is a member of the National Association of Letter Carriers who didn’t like the idea that the rules were being ignored regarding uniforms. Religion need not come into it at all.

      • sparrowmint says:

        If it was a religious motivation at all, it’s just as likely, if not more likely, to be a Jew, Muslim, Hindu, or person from another religion that doesn’t want a US government employee dressed as a symbol of a Christian holiday.

        • j2.718ff says:

          If it was religiously motivated, my money says it was a Christian who made the complaint. (But I think it’s at least as likely that religion had nothing to do with it.)

        • humphrmi says:

          My parents are Jehovah’s Witnesses, a Christian denomination. I’m Jewish. In my old job, me and my Muslim and Hindu friends from work would all go to Christkindlmarket at Daley Plaza in Chicago. Guess which group makes more noise about Santa when they see one?

      • Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

        Regardless of motivation, are we safe to call “dick move” here?

      • little stripes says:

        “You know, those folks who sue schools because they start out each morning saying the Pledge of Allegiance, or those that file lawsuits over school graduations because they want to include a prayer in it.”

        And that’s not anti-religious; that’s a desire to keep the church separate from our government, something that is explicitly in our constitution. All of these “complaints” or “law suits” are for public schools, not private. There’s a reason for this, and it’s called Separation of Church and State.

        You can still pray privately. There are no laws against that.

        ETA: And I clearly made my original comment about Santa having nothing to do with religion to the wrong person. D’oh! But my point still stands: Santa has absolutely nothing to do with religion. The fact that so-called christians are so ignorant about their own religion and think that a modern, consumerist icon is about religion, is quite amusing, though.

        • Daniel Svoboda says:

          Your statement that ‘separation of church and state’ is in the Constitution is incorrect. A simple Wikipedia search is enough to show that. It’s from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson in reply to one from the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802. The original text reads: “… I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.” He was replying to a worry of theirs regarding the dominance of another church in their area.

          If you’re going to throw around a phrase like that, 1- use the whole quote, and 2- get your context right.

      • suez says:

        You do realize that the ultra-Right Evangelicals don’t like Santa, either, right? Because he distracts from Christ as well, don’cha know. More likely than not, it was one of THEM that complained.

      • magnetic says:

        There are about five of those people in the USA, in total.

      • psm321 says:

        Yeah because publicly-funded religious prayer is TOTALLY the same as the completely secularized Santa Claus.

        / Not Christian
        // Big fan of Santa Claus

        • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

          Yes, violating the 1st amendment by establishing prayer in schools is far different from a guy dressed up as a made-up figure that many atheists, Christians, and even a few Jews like.

    • little stripes says:

      Santa has nothing to do with religion. Nothing. More than likely, it had nothing to do with a religious beef (or if it did, it was probably a strict Christian).

      • DragonThermo says:

        I don’t think it was a hard-line Christian. i think it was a government union employee representative or Shop Steward (aka Union Goon). The Union says this is your uniform so you look just like the other Union drones. If you try to personalize the uniform, trying to make yourself look like an individual, that is a violation of Union rules and must be punished.

        And besides, it’s probably a violation of government union rules to do anything that gives the public a positive opinion about government union employees.

        • q`Tzal says:

          My mother, a long time pro-union anti-government commie who happened to work for the USPS for about 20 years, said that the United Postal Workers’ Union runs the USPS.
          Not legally of course but by mere force of numbers. All offical decisions take in to account the reaction of thousands of angry workers possibly “going postal”.

        • finbar says:

          I think it was a conservative tea-party member, because this idea of a man giving away things for free reeks of socialism.

  3. ChaosOnion says:

    “A rep for the USPS confirmed to the paper that the complaint actually came from one of his fellow carriers, and not someone on his route.”

    If you want to know who complained, just look for the carrier dressed as Krampus.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDave‚Ñ¢ says:

      Or the one with no Jesus Fish on his car. Even better, turn on some Christian Rock station in the break room, and see who turns it off.

      • NickRayko says:

        Xtian rock sucks, so anyone who cares about music might shut it off.

        • 132_and_bush says:

          Reminds me of that episode of King of the Hill where Hank tells a Christian rock group, “You people are not making Christianity any better, you’re just making rock ‘n’ roll worse.”

      • Thalia says:

        Thank you for explaining so handily why the Santa Suit might make others feel unwelcome. Yes, no Jesus fish clearly means you (1) are a grinch, (2) deserve your tires slashed, (3) hate Christians, and the commenters below suggest.

        Because the Postal Service is just for Christians! It’s the American way. /sarcasm

      • mindaika says:

        Considering the image of Santa (including the red suit) is based on the pagan figure Odin, it’s much more likely that the Christians would be the ones complaining.

  4. rdm says:

    Don’t blame the atheists for this. We don’t care. (And are tired of being blamed for all of this nonsense)

    • cparkin says:

      This.

    • maxhobbs says:

      Since when do you speak for all atheists?

    • dangerp says:

      Wouldn’t it be more likely to be someone with religious beliefs that preclude Christmas? There are many worldwide religions (not going to name any names) that don’t participate in Christmas, and it seems that people of any belief system (including Atheists, regardless of whether it can be considered a ‘belief’) can get their panties in a bunch over perceived religious favoritism. Heck, there are even those that subscribe to the traditional Christmas story that get perturbed by the guy in the red suit stealing the show.

      I, for one, blame the human race.

    • Jawaka says:

      You speak for all atheists?

    • tinyninja says:

      Athiest reporting. I participate wholeheartedly in the secular aspects of religion, as they are generally pagan based–no less ridiculous than the rest of religion, yet vastly more fun.

      • Agent Hooter Enjoys Enhanced Patdowns says:

        Atheist here with a big old ditto and a Christmas tree covered in owls.

        • Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

          Atheist here, who can’t wait for my kids to open their presents Christmas morning! I grew up a Methodist, but have NEVER combined Santa Claus and religion.

          To me, Santa Claus is just 1 day out of the year I can do something for ALL of my children to enjoy and look forward to equally. My husband still shares some Christian beliefs, but we don’t raise our children to. We let them decide what they choose to believe in. Santa Claus is just a fat old jolly dude who gets a kick out of making kids happy :)

  5. ajlei says:

    Thanks a lot, fellow carrier, for complaining. Because nothing says holidays like ruining people’s cheer.

  6. El_Fez says:

    Who the hell complains about Santa? Seriously, do you have no joy left in your cold, bitter heart?

  7. Tyanna says:

    Just how long do letter carriers spend working together? Honestly? Also, why does one complaint letter mean it has to be stopped? Tell the person who wrote the complaint letter their concern is noted and move on.

    Until many people start bitching, I don’t see why someone’s tight assness means the guy can’t dress up as Santa and make people on his route smile (and the kids happy).

    • Eremis77 says:

      I especially hate the attitude of “we got a SINGLE COMPLAINT from someone, so this thing nobody else has complained about in a decade has to stop now”.

      If nobody else in that time has ever had a problem, maybe the complainer is the problem employee?

      • Clyde Barrow says:

        @Erimis77; I agree. I always wonder why cops don’t do this also. If I were a cop and ONE person complained about something that seem a nusiance or inconvenience, I’d tell them that “Hey, guess what, maybe they don’t like you either so STFU!”.

    • Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

      Unfortunately, I live nowhere near Bellevue WA. But perhaps someone who does can send a complaint to the USPS demanding that all letter carriers dress as Santa for the week or so preceeding Christmas? Using USPS logic, that would solve this problem now, wouldn’t it??

  8. Back to waiting, but I did get a cute dragon ear cuff says:

    My guess is that is a disgruntled fellow employee that is not allowed to wear whatever non regulation item that they want to wear. Like a Seattle Mariners cap.

    Since I can’t wear what I want, I am not going to let anyone wear anything non regulation.

    Just watch out for disgruntled postal workers.

    • regis-s says:

      My thought exactly. Somebody that got in trouble for being out of uniform and saw it as pay back.

    • LJKelley says:

      Well fair is fair. Why should his Christmas passion be given preference over someone elses harmless passion.

      But then I forget that everyone that doesn’t like Christmas is a grinch. Even people who give birthday gifts, and generally generous the rest of the year are labeled as grinches.

      • JennQPublic says:

        I like Christmas, but you have a point. Why should he be allowed to operate by a different set of rules than his fellow employees?

        Of course, now I’ll have to go caroling to get the taste of grinchiness out of my mouth…

  9. Miss Dev (The Beer Sherpa) says:

    I had a postman at a previous job whom I became friends with. His name was Joe and he was such fun to talk to. The year I worked there I spent my birthday alone for the first time in my life, even my friends were out of town. On my birthday he brought me a mini cheesecake he purchased at the bodega down the street, because he didn’t want me to be without a cake on my birthday. It meant the world to me and still gives me the warm’n’fuzzies.

    Joy, kindness, and whimsy should be rewarded, not punished. Especially when it enhances a person’s job rather than distracts from it.

  10. mbd says:

    >For more than a decade, a postal carrier in Bellevue, WA, has spread Christmas cheer along his mail route by donning a Santa Claus costume

    Spread cheer for his Christian customers only. While there are certainly Christmas customs that are not based in Christianity, such as Santa, Christmas with all it’s secular trappings is seen as a Christian holiday by non-Christians.

    • El_Fez says:

      Of course, because wearing a Santa suit instantly has the subtext of “Fuck you, Jew!”

      • Thalia says:

        No, because seeing “Santa” delivering packages to the other kids makes kids whose parents either cannot afford presents, or do not spread the Santa myth unhappy.

        I wouldn’t have complained, but I think the idea that “Santa is not religious” is ludicrous.

        • humphrmi says:

          How does seeing presents delivered by Santa make other kids unhappy? My kids have lived without presents from Santa all their lives. They see him on T.V. delivering presents, they see him in the malls at Christmastime. They don’t seem sad. I don’t get it.

    • msbask says:

      I’m not Christian and I think Santa spreads cheer to me, too.

    • j2.718ff says:

      I’m not Christian, and I would be honored to have a man dressed as Santa delivering my mail. (I’d also approve of my mail carrier dressing as Jesus, Mohammed, Moses, L Ron Hubbard, Joseph Smith or Zeus)

      • caradrake says:

        Totally. I’d love to have my mail carrier do this, especially since my kiddos are home all day long. Too bad my mail carrier does his route in his truck, so it wouldn’t matter anyways.

      • ajlei says:

        If I had a mail carrier dressed as Zeus, I.. I.. don’t know what I’d do.

    • little stripes says:

      I’m an atheist and I do not see Santa as a christian thing. I see it as an American consumerist icon.

    • humphrmi says:

      Jew checking in. Love Christmas lights, in fact we’re going to Brookfield Zoo on Friday to see the lights. While I don’t take my kids to sit on Santa’s lap, they have shook his hand when he walked by us in the mall. Some people say it’s because I’m jealous that we don’t have Christmas. WTF? It’s Christmas all around us, how in the hell can anyone not “have” Christmas right now, unless they lock themselves in a basement?

      Santa is just fine with me, and my kids don’t care that they don’t get presents from him. And we’d be fine with him delivering our mail, like it really hurts us. Boo hoo.

    • katarzyna says:

      This atheist sees Christmas as a pagan tradition. Ho ho ho.

  11. msbask says:

    *ONE* complaint and he has to stop. Stupid.l

    What if everyone on his route got together and bombarded the post office with complaints that he wasn’t dressing like Santa?

  12. gqcarrick says:

    Someone complained? What a bunch of scrooges.

  13. kataisa says:

    But after someone complained to the USPS about his Kris Kringle getup, the Santa costume will have to remain in his closet this year.

    One scrooge complains so now nobody can enjoy the postal Santa Claus?

    Beware the tyranny of the minority.

    Pretty soon this country won’t have any cultural or religious holidays to celebrate because some idiot will be offended somewhere.

    • Thalia says:

      Right, how will those poor Christians survive while merely dominating the malls, the airwaves, and the schools. It’s a wonder they don’t feel completely excluded from America.

      There is no war on Christmas. If there is a war, Christmas is waging it against everyone who doesn’t share its mythologies.

      • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

        Agreed. I am not Christian and I celebrate Christmas, but have zero issue with those who respect the religious aspect of it. None of my atheist friends do either. Neither do any of the Jewish families I know. I have one Jewish friend who gives me a Christmas gift and sends out cards to her Christian friends.

        I think that this whole was on Christmas is made up by that small sect of hypocritical and hostile Christians who like to make non-Christians miserable and frame us all as horrible, unethical, evil people who live to rob them of their right to celebrate their religion freely, while at the same time refusing to let non-Christians live in peace without religion.

  14. Lisa W says:

    Very sad…the complainer is a Grinch‚Ķtaking away something special from the residents who loved seeing the carrier in a Santa costume every year.

  15. Taylor Rolyat says:

    The phone number for Santa’s USPS office is 425.453.5655. Feel do take a minute to pass along some Christmas cheer to what must clearly be some cheer-deprived postal employees

    • Magical Pig says:

      Yeah, like they really want to hear from anyone for any reason ant any time of the year. It will only piss them off even more.

  16. JosephFinn says:

    Hell, I’m curious as to how he got away with it for so long. Then again. the main post office across the street from me right now here in Chicago has wasted money on putting up unconstitutional Christmas decorations so I’m not that surprised.

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      How are Christmas decorations unconstitutional? I am not a Christian and put them up, as do many of the atheists on Consumerists, and as do all of my atheist friends. They are Christian if you choose to see them as such. A tree, garland, wreaths, and Christmas balls are not Christian symbols in any way. If it were a giant cross and manger scene, I could see your point (and it very well could be.) But, generic decor is not inherently Christian.

  17. brinks says:

    I’m an atheist, but if Santa brought me my mail, I’d be all smiles. The guy’s doing his job in a Santa Suit, not knocking on doors trying to “save” people.

    Get the eff over it, joyless bastard who reported him.

  18. Grungo says:

    Ho ho ho, I hope the co-worker gets slashed tires for Christmas!

  19. Draw2much says:

    I feel horrible saying this, but it’s just as likely a very very conservative Christian complained (perhaps someone who’s powerful in the local community). Some people in certain Christian circles take great offense to Santa “taking over the celebration of Christ’s birth” and view him as a secular commercialized idol that’s “ruining” the holiday.

    I can’t imagine why anyone else would be offended. Santa Clause is the non-religious symbol for Christmas in America. ( http://youtu.be/RbUVKXdu4lQ ) It gives non-Christians a way to participate in the holidays without having to pretend they care about Christ’s birth. He shouldn’t offend people from other religions. (Or at least I can’t imagine why he would offend people from other religions.)

    (Yes, I am a Christian. And, no, I don’t care if people celebrate Christmas in the religious or secular sense. Just as long as everyone can have fun, enjoy their friend’s and family, and get/give gifts.)

    • Thalia says:

      Santa is NOT non-religious. He doesn’t come to Jewish, Hindu, or Muslim homes. Go look at actual facts before making statements like this.

      • j2.718ff says:

        I’m not religious, and he comes to my home.

      • little stripes says:

        That’s because Santa is an American consumerist icon. Santa has nothing to do with christianity. It’s just a cultural tradition of the US. Also, I have Jewish friends who celebrate the Jewish Holidays, AND Christmas day, with Santa. This world is far more complex then you’re making it out to be.

        • Agent Hooter Enjoys Enhanced Patdowns says:

          I’m an atheist and Santa visits. He’s a bit like Mr. Hankey; he loves me, I love you, and therefore vicariously he loves you too!

      • Jules Noctambule says:

        You seem unfamiliar with representations of this figure worldwide.

    • Slaughterhouse5 says:

      Fuck you bible thumper.

      • Ablinkin says:

        Now THAT was a classy comment!

      • tsukiotoshi says:

        I rate this troll a 2.5/5. Your other comment was perhaps a 3/5, extra points for bringing in racism to a discussion that has nothing to do with race. You should observe more successful trolls and pick up some tips if you hope to continue in this hobby.

        • Draw2much says:

          I literally LOLed when I saw the comment. I was like “REALLY? That’s the best you can do? I don’t even rate a decent trolling? No love, man, no love…” ;)

  20. Krystal says:

    I would personally love if my asshole mailman dressed like Santa. I would like him more.

    • fadetoblack says:

      If Santa delivered presents the way my mail carrier delivers mail, our neighborhood would spend Christmas morning going door to door bringing misdelivered packages to the right houses.

  21. Draw2much says:

    American Santa Clause is a non-religious figure. I’m not talking about the different (pagan) spirits or (Christian) saints he’s based off of, but the Santa Clause we’ve had for the last 50 years. The one on the Coca Cola bottles and in the TV shows. The guy who goes HO HO HO and comes down chimneys. THAT Santa is secular and certainly not Christian.

    When I lived in Japan, they celebrated Christmas. Their total population of Christians is less than 1%, so it’s not like it’s a Christian holy day for them. They decorate trees, give their kids gifts, have romantic evenings with their special someone, and YES they have the AMERICAN Santa Clause and all that comes with it. To them, Christmas isn’t religious, it’s just a fun holiday they got from the West.

    Thanks for the other comments. Nice to know people understand what I’m saying and I’m am not completely off my rocker. :)

    • Draw2much says:

      *cries* What happened, why didn’t it post in the right place?! This was suppose to be in response to Thalia!!! Go back one page to see where the conversation started. D:

  22. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    I’m an Agnostic, and I say BOOOOOO! I think a postman wearing a Santa outfit is great. Imagine how many smiles he must bring to people’s faces (Christians and non-Christians alike)?

  23. samonela says:

    Could he not wear the regulation uniform over a santa suit?

  24. AEN says:

    The post office actually had a paid-for service where you could have a package delivered Christmas day by a mailman dressed as Santa. My kids thought it was the greatest thing ever.

  25. quail says:

    Someone should dress as Krampus and give those who complained a good old scare. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=6EmqsEHl3P8#!

  26. shmoos says:

    They should have checked to see if this was actually a problem.
    If the people on his route were happy to see him dressed as Santa then let him dress as Santa.
    To react this way on a complaint from a fellow worker is stupid.
    it should take more than one complaint to react.

  27. J.A.Reader says:

    Way to go Supervisor! I’m sure other complaints get properly processed, filed, with nothing at all done about them.
    Way to make sure this one was taken care of immediately.
    I hope your good service is rewarded when they start closing down Post Offices for lack business from paying customers.

  28. FrugalFreak says:

    Merry CHRISTmas!

  29. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    I wonder if 100 of the people he delivered to complained that he was no longer wearing it, if they would let him wear it again.

    The guy complained is a royal douche bag.

  30. pinksky says:

    Amen

  31. dlr143 says:

    F’n Scrooge!

  32. flychinook says:

    I hope everybody in that town calls to complain about the normal postal carrier uniform.

  33. sj_user1 says:

    It is a safety issue. Also, the USPS is in debt because of sabotage by Republicans who forced it to overfund its retiree benefits by billions of dollars. Without this the USPS would be doing just ifne.